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M: Maternity/Paternity Leave

Paid family leave combats poverty, gives children a healthy start, and lowers the wage gap between women and men by providing structural support to balance work and family.

Selena's Story

Selena's baby boy, Connor, was born six weeks early. As Connor was rushed to the Neonatal Intensive Care unit, Selena found herself alone in a hospital bed realizing that she was going to go home well before her baby. "There was no way we could afford for me to take off more than we planned,” recalls Selena. So after Selena had the baby on Thursday, she was released from the hospital Friday, and was back at her desk on Monday morning. “It was the hardest two and a half weeks of my life,” she says recalling the ache of being away from her newborn son.

Click here to watch a segment of the Motherhood Manifesto documentary to learn more about Selena's story and why we all need access to paid family and medical leave.

Know the Facts

  • Right now only 13 (!!!) percent of Americans have access to paid family leave through their employer and only 37% have personal medical leave provided through an employer.
  • Although the current Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows some employees to take up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave, it only covers about 60 percent of employees.
  • A quarter of all poverty spells in the United States are because of having a baby.
  • The U.S is one of the only countries in the world that doesn't offer paid leave to new mothers.
  • Paid family leave has been shown to reduce infant mortality by as much as 20% (and the U.S. ranks a low 37th of all countries in infant mortality).
  • Paid leave improves worker retention, which saves employers money through reduced turnover cost.

What You Can Do

MomsBlogging on Maternity & Paternity Leave

Paternity Leave Empowers Dads to Help with Breastfeeding

Posted October 1, 2015 by To-wen Tseng

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Thank you, President BarackObama For Advancing Paid Sick Days, Family Leave, PayEquity on Labor Day!

Posted September 7, 2015 by Kristin

MomsRising Praises President Obama’s Labor Day Expansion of Paid Sick Days to Federal Contractors   MomsRising Backs President Obama Urging Congress to Pass the Healthy Families Act and the FAMILY Act   Earlier today, President Obama in a Labor Day address announced a new executive order expanding paid sick leave to all employees who are [...]

8 Things Moms Don't Need on #LaborDay, or Any Other Day

Posted September 6, 2015 by Nanette Fondas

Several companies recently announced new or expanded perks to help the mothers in their ranks: extending maternity leaves, paying to fly a baby and nanny when mom takes a work trip or to ship breast milk back home, offering a mother local work for the first year of her baby’s life, or allowing her to [...]

Are you at a threshold, too?

Posted August 25, 2015 by Renee Trudeau

Yesterday we attended a moving "Ceremony of 13" at our church for my teenage son. Cultures around the world share a tradition of marking the transition from childhood to adulthood beginning at age 13 (in the Jewish tradition this is called a Bar or Bat Mitzvah). Our ministers shared why it's key to pause and [...]

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